Life

We Went Geocaching…Sort Of

What is geocaching, you ask? Did you ever see Pirates Of The Caribbean where Johnny Depp uses his magical compass to locate the hidden treasure that he really, really wants? Well, geocaching is nothing like that.

johnny depp, captain jack sparrow, pirates of the caribbean, magic compass

If geocaching were like this, then I would have actually found Johnny Depp when I went geocaching.

Image from here.

According to www.geocaching.com, geocaching is a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and can then share their experiences online.

But you should check out my friend P.J.’s blog if you really want to learn the basics of geocaching and what it’s all about.

Which is probably what co-blogger Mike and I should have done before attempting to go geocaching for the first time. See, Mike came over and after eating yummy swag cheese, he started talking about geocaching and I was all, like, “Oh yeah, I know what that is because I am sooooo up on things.” and then he pulled out his phone and started poking away at it until he exclaimed “Hey, there’s one right near here!”

Yes, he exclaimed. He’s a very enthusiastic person.

In any case, we took my son Max and off we went. The geocache is only located a few blocks away, in a little wooded are down by the river. Mike kept a close eye on his phone so we could make sure we were headed in the right direction. I believe the geocache was indicated with a green circle and we were indicated by a blue triangle.

woods, river, man, boy, Montreal

So, at first the little green circle was ahead of us. The arrow is pointing out Mike, who was making sure we didn’t pass the treasure by.

And then, somehow, even though Mike was carefully monitoring his phone, the geocache was behind us.

river, woods, man, evening, Montreal

So, we backtracked a bit. There’s Mike again, still carefully checking his phone.

And then, of course, we were right on top of it. Apparently. So, we looked around like crazy. And what did we find? Nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. I found a stump that bears a striking resemblance to a tree in my yard.

tree stump, hole in tree

I think maybe they just grow this way in Montreal.

We kept rooting around, trying to find the geocache. Mike read some of the comments left by people who had already found it, trying to see if they gave any clues. The only “helpful” comment was by one person who wrote that you needed really good eyes to find the cache. And then Mike noticed that somehow, even though we hadn’t moved, the geocache was now located behind us again.

man, woods, tree, geocaching, gps,

It’s like dΓ©jΓ  vu all over again.

By this time, Max, for some strange reason, lost interest in walking back and forth over the same 20 foot path looking into, under and around trees, rocks and bushes. So he found some rocks and threw them into the river.

boy, river, skipping stones

Oh yes, this is so much more interesting.

We finally gave up and started back with Max repeating, “There was no treasure. I’m not, not, not, NOT happy!” for the entire 10 minute walk home. I guess the first thing you really need to know about geocaching is: if you’re going to try it with a young child, hide a geocache in your purse to bring along. Just in case.

 

 

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  • Barb

    This actually sounds like fun! But I agree- if you have a child with you you would definitely want a back up… kind of like when the tooth fairy was soooo tired that he/she forgot to leave a dollar under a pillow and you have to slip one under the bed and say that it fell out while your child was asleep

    *whistling & not making eye contact*

    Not that that EVER happened at my house……… πŸ˜‰

  • Hey Nicky! I’ve not tried this, and have no idea if it’s taken off in the UK. But as someone who hates looking for things (I enjoy FINDING things, of course, but that’s different), I may give this a miss anyway. Colour me grumpy. Bah, humbug, Indigo

  • nonamedufus

    How hard can it be to find a Geo. I know they’re small but still how hard can it be to find a car? Of course they don’t make them anymore.

  • I left a comment yesterday and it’s gone. Maybe you deleted it, but I don’t know why. It’s content was pretty benign. Still, if I take Max to search for a treasure, I think you need to always provide treasure for him. I hate to see him disappointed. Never mind. Give him a cookie and he’ll be fine.

  • That sounds interesting. I am traveling through the Flint Hills today which means I have next to no Internet signal and god only knows if my GPS is capable of finding anything out here but I am going to check this out when I get back into Kansas City tomorrow. A quick search on my Iphone said there are several thousand caches in the area around Lawrence, KS.

  • Some of my family used to go geocaching. I didn’t see the fascination, but maybe it’s an age thing.

    At a certain age, children NEED to find the treasure. Throwing stones in the water is a good alternative though πŸ™‚

  • Wow, Barb, that NEVER happened at my house either. *whistles the exact same tune as you* πŸ™‚

  • From what I understand, Indigo, it’s pretty popular around the world. And I can understand why you wouldn’t want to play. I believe the game was invented by ninjas.

  • I know, right? And considering how long it’s been since they made the last one, you wouldn’t think the little buggers would be able to hide so quickly.

  • That’s funny, because that’s exactly what I did! He still wants a treasure, but he settled for an Oreo. πŸ™‚

    Oh, and I would never delete your comments! I don’t know what happened to it!

  • Cool! I hope you have better luck with it than we did! P.J. did tell me to look for caches with difficulty levels between 1 and 2, since we’re new to this. Let me know how you do!

  • I’ve not done this, but it does sound like it might be interesting. A little checking shows there are some located in my area. I wonder if my smart phone is smart enough to find one?

  • But have you ever tried it, Babs? I didn’t think it would be something I’d really be into, but after doing it once, I must admit I can see myself doing it again. Maybe not regularly – just don’t have the time – but every now and again I think would be fun.

    Throwing stones into the river is actually pretty therapeutic. πŸ™‚

  • My phone has a below average IQ, so I’d either have to upgrade, get a GPS or keep inviting Mike over πŸ™‚

  • To be honest, I think I would probably have enjoyed it when I was younger. I’m a bit old in the tooth now πŸ™‚

  • P.J.

    I can’t tell from the photos what you might have been looking for. If you think about it, have Mike e-mail me the cache number/page and I’ll peek at it, the best I can. Maybe you can redeem yourself! πŸ˜€

    First ones can be really hard. I hope the ones I sent you are close to you so you can give it a go again. Hopefully you’ll succeed the next time!

    I’m going on a big run tomorrow that will net us many finds. In fact, we’ll be about 10 miles below the Quebec border in New York at one point! πŸ˜€

  • P.J.

    What kind of phone do you have, Linda? I’d be more than happy to help with any pointers if you need ’em!

  • P.J.

    Definitely not an older/younger thing. I know people in their 70s and 80s who do it. It’s all about a sense of adventure and willingness to go look for things. πŸ™‚

  • Maybe it’s not an ‘age thing’ so much as ‘age’ preventing some people from this sort of activity. We don’t all age without physical difficulties. Sometimes, as in my case, the spirit may be willing, but the body isn’t as able πŸ™‚

  • In theory, it sounds like fun. I guess in practice, it’s got a few bugs. I’m directionally challenged as it is. Geocaching sounds like an evil GPS overlord.

  • P.J., I couldn’t tell what we were looking for either! I just followed Mike, the guardian of the Smartphone, and took pictures.

    I checked out the links you sent, and all 3 of them are close by – not walking distance, but still pretty close. We’ll have to check them out! Thanks for your help πŸ™‚

  • LOL! I don’t know about the evil GPS overlord, but I do know that we really shouldn’t have expected to know what we were doing since we’d never done it before, hadn’t done any research and we have an extensive history of not knowing what we’re doing. But it was fun πŸ™‚

  • I’ve heard of geocaching, but I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody who did it. So, when you find it, are you supposed to put it back where you found it and leave another “helpful” hint for the next person?

    Wouldn’t it have been funny if you were bent down looking and concentrating and you bump heads with somebody and stand up and suddenly you’re face to face with….. Johnny Depp? And then you both threw your heads back and laughed. And then went and had a beer together, talking over musty menus in French. {SIGH!}

  • I like the way you think, Margaret!

  • Poor Max! I’d be stomping up and down next to him, shouting, “I’m not, not, not, NOT happy!”

  • And then would you have calmed down when I gave you milk and Oreos, too, Boom Boom? πŸ™‚

  • When you find the geocache, there’s usually some kind of log book, or scroll, and a pencil so you can enter your name. Some caches have things inside which you can take, some people bring things along to leave inside. You can then log on the site and let people know that you found the cache and if you took anything, left anything etc.

    Out of that whole scenario you’ve described (which I love, btw) the only part I find odd is the ‘musty menus’. Why are the menus musty? Besides, I wouldn’t want to have a meal with Johnny. Food would just interfere with my attempt to get him liquored up so I could take advantage of him. πŸ™‚

  • I’m not sure. I think I was thinking that musty menus added a little seediness to the scene. Adding some dirt to the atmosphere. Like what you were doing was secret and underground and….dirty. Clearly, I need another adjective. On a different noun, perhaps.

  • Well, maybe if you offered Dr Pepper… or wine & cheese.

  • Ahahahahha! Poor Max!

  • Yeaa! Geocaching! I have had a few in which I had to bring friends back to help find them… the coordinates change on the gps all the time.. and then people don’t put them back right, etc. It can be frustrating! I have two geocaches. We made COOL designs with them… one has snakes and sand, the other a full sized duck on an ammo box. Of course I ran over my very first one LOL!. GOOD idea, bringing treasure along LOL!

  • Sandra

    Apparently really posh people in my neighbourhood like to geocache because my youngest son goes out with his little friends, and this has been his summer entertainment. I wish the posh people in my neighbourhood were hiding cash because although I live in the posh neighbourhood, I’m one of the people who sold high in Ontario, and bought low here, which means we are white trash living with the posh…anyway, what was my point?

  • I think you’re lying. I think you actually found Johnny Depp and now you’re hiding him and pretending you didn’t find anything at all. I am coming over.

  • MikeWJ

    Am I the only one among us brave enough to mention that the stump in your photo looks suspiciously like a vagina, and is almost identical to the vagina tree in your front yard? Have we all lost our courage? Will no one speak up for what is wrong?

  • Yes, I have Johnny Depp at my house. Please come over now.

  • Yes. You’re truly a man of great courage. And a horndog. πŸ™‚

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